Colin Kaepernick: 49ers Young QB Will Be Key to NFC Championship

Daine Pavloski@@dpavloskiAnalyst IIJanuary 15, 2013

Kaepernick had over 400 all-purpose yards against the Packers and is going to go nuts again against the Falcons.
Kaepernick had over 400 all-purpose yards against the Packers and is going to go nuts again against the Falcons.Harry How/Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick has become a San Francisco savior seemingly overnight. Coach Harbaugh made the tough call to start Kaepernick after former starter Alex Smith went down with an injury and has kept rolling with the youngster ever since.

Fast forward to the playoffs and Kaep has his team set to take on the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game with a shot at the Super Bowl on the line.

The 49ers and Kaepernick made Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers look like a Pop Warner team in the NFC divisional playoffs. The Niners trounced the Pack 45-31 in a game that may have been close on the scoreboard, but never felt close. Kaepernick had over 400 all-purpose yards, including 181 on the ground. 

Now Kaepernick and the Niners face the No. 1 seed in the NFC in the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons barely escaped Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in the divisional round and, unfortunately for Falcons fans, Atlanta won't escape another dual-threat quarterback.

Kaepernick is coming into another matchup that will make him look like a superstar. The Falcons have struggled against mobile quarterbacks all season long. Cam Newton ran for 86 yards and 116 yards in his two meetings with the Falcons, which they split 1-1. Atlanta also came close against a hurt RGIII this season and were given fits by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks who almost made an insane comeback in the divisional round. 

The second-year quarterback will have the privilege of playing against a Falcons defense which ranks 23rd in pass defense and 21st in rushing defense, in which they allow over 123 rushing yards per game. 

The Niners have the fourth-best rushing attack in the league, averaging over 155 yards per game, with Kaep contributing over 6.5 yards per carry. 

Kaepernick will keep the Falcons defense guessing all night, slinging it to Crabtree and other 49ers receivers on one drive and busting off 30- and 40-yard runs on another. 

Kaepernick's playmaking ability will help the 49ers get past the No. 1 seed in the NFC and on to the Super Bowl.